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Monday 25 November 2013

Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 25 November

A popular essay title and debating topic, ever since its arrival is, ' The Mobile Phone - Blessing or Curse?  Well, tonight it proved to be both - a blessing (and a curse) for Simon and family and a curse for Faye and Grace. There it is, just as it happened, filmed by Grace, the indisputable truth.

Isn't it time to meet Grace's parents? Are they aware of what a nightmare child they have raised? So superficially polished, polite and socially skilled, yet so morally bankrupt - unchecked, where will this lead? She's young still, so hope persists. But, when Anna visits Grace's abode she's smiling, eating a tub of ice cream and watching an enormous television. What was said? Unreported.

Anna embodied the constant parental dilemma - to protect and to punish. How much of each is enough? Tim abdicates responsibility, unsurprisingly, as Anna doesn't really want his input. Whether she wants Sally's input is academic really, as she most certainly gets it. All guns blazing, Sally is calling Faye 'evil' and telling Anna that she should 'nip this in the bud' and other nuggets of unwanted advice. 'You're starting to bug me now. You're sticking your nose in where it's not wanted.' Sally evokes the past and how slapped legs sorted her out. But hang on a minute, Sally, do you not have a daughter called Rosie who led you a very merry dance? Memories can be short-lived when launching into criticism of others.

Gary was superb in his rational analysis of the whole situation and even had an accolade from Owen. 'Gary's right,' he says. And he was.   

Mary is the one who sees the attack on Asha's phone. Aadi and Asha tell Mary that the attack is all over school. Of course, Simon would suspect that this might happen, another reason why he didn't want to go to school. Peter has his work cut out trying to persuade him to go to school, and Carla, at least on the face of it, shows little sympathy, or, perhaps to be more forgiving of her, she does have a factory to run and a wedding to arrange. Peter though seems very disengaged from the wedding, and Carla tells him so. Might it be the case that Peter's thoughts s are not exclusively on Simon though? Tina most certainly gets better treatment from the groom-to-be and it's impossible not to notice the lingering looks on departure, from both Peter and Tina.  

Tina to the rescue for the morning that Peter allows Simon to have off school and don't they get on well,  Tina and Simon? Peter knows this and maybe, just maybe, thoughts of the future are not on floral matters and a wedding, but other matters.In the middle of his fury at Anna, it was Tina who shepherded Peter out of the caf√© in a very skilful manner. Oh yes, we know where this is going.

It's not often Carla needs sympathy, but in front of Michelle and Steve, she was somewhat humiliated. Knowing full well that Peter was preoccupied with Simon's difficulties and not interested in flowers, when her phone rings, she says it's nothing, which also irritates Peter. Can't win Carla. So she tells them what it's about, only for Peter to tell her to get flowers from Dev's or the park as he has real things to worry about.

Great reference to the olives that Gail over-ordered in the Bistro. Steph's, 'I don't know why they order so many,' was a reference of course to Gail's mistake, or rather it was Lewis' addition of a few noughts as part of his revenge.

Steve isn't half under the cosh at home. Michelle needs reminding that Steve is her partner, not her 7 year old child. 'And where do you think you're going?' she asks. Steve is actually going to study with his friend Andrea. Andrea has been mentioned a few times lately but Steve reassures Michelle by telling her that Andrea is plain, and her oil painting would be called Plain Girl, whereas Michelle's painting would be called Eternal Beauty. Hmmmm. Michelle's fury over the accounts and Liz's digs are probably fair, but still Steve seems to be dogged by them. Why has Michelle become so joyless of late? 'You,' she says would be 'Shifty, with thinning hair.'

Hayley's irritation with Roy is palpable. She is intent on working on Carla's dress despite Roy's anxiety about it. The great joy of watching Roy and Hayley is the total credibility they bring to their scenes. Against the terrible backdrop of death, there still remains normality.' Every time I get into a groove you disturb me,' she snaps. Roy reminds her that she's been at it since 7 a.m. He then regales her with the arrangements for her first session of chemotherapy. Immediately on her return, she goes back to the dress. Downstairs goes Roy and is irritated in his turn by Mary's appearance at the door. He is brusque with her and tells her he has no dessicated coconut, (or even desecrated coconut). She's not here for that. She is here to help Roy and help she does. Through the glass we see Hayley smiling in acknowledgement of Mary's kindness as the chess game begins.

Mary gets a bad press.She is considered to be, by those both on and off The Street, an eccentric, weird, an oddball. Yes, she is different from most people, but different doesn't mean worse. What harm has she caused anyone? She has done good for quite a few people, especially Dev and his children. And really, if all of us ask ourselves, and then answer truthfully the question as to whether or not there is something unusual or odd about us, it would be a rare soul who could say, 'No, there is nothing odd about me whatsoever.'  ,  

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Rosie L said...

What's with all the Christmas cards, it's not even December and they were in every home. Bit premature isn't it. There even decorations in the Rovers.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. I liked the little throwback to the olives tonight.
One thing that doesn't seem clear to me in the last few episodes is when did Carla get the personality transplant. Do you really think that Carla would bother with napkins for the wedding. This is at least her third wedding you'd think that she knew all the florists by now.

Anonymous said...

Mary did hold Norris hostage, and she almost ruined Roy's business with her theme nights. I think she may have a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder. When controlled and channelled her behaviour can be kind and helpful. When she becomes obsessed she can be dangerous.

Canada is currently wrestling with creating new laws to attempt to control cyber-bullying and related problems. It would appear that the UK hasn't solved the problem either. I'm interested to hear what the police have to say.

Ruth owen said...

Yes, true Anonymous. I'm feeling defensive about Mary, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Carla would have hired a wedding planner - not tried to handle the whole thing herself. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lewis did the noughty thing with the olives but maybe I am remembering wrong.

For the first time EVER I think, I felt a bit sorry for Faye...she is so detestable, it is very difficult to like her- but she seemed more layered in this episode, and genuine- still far from likeable but at least it was possible to actually care a bit about her.

Beth said...

I found last night's episodes the best fruition of a story build up in a long time. All strands came together nicely and not as contrived, rushed or clunky as other stories have been in recent times.

I've never liked Faye as a character. Maybe because I don't particularly rate the little girl as a good actress especially with such a big part and her sing/ songy deliverance of lines sometimes grates. The amount of airtime the Windass Armstrongs are given also doesn't help so the whole family are annoying.

However I sat through both episodes with a lump in my throat (and not forgetting last Friday's powerful episodes too). I thought it a wonderful portrayal of bullying; physical, emotional and cyber.

The actress who plays Faye has truly come into her own and the scene with her so called friend Grace at school, where it's heart breaking to see that she too is also being bullied and desperately trying to fit in but is so scared herself. Her face is so full of emotion my heart broke for her. Yes, she should know right from wrong and should have stood up to Grace but she's young and vulnerable and got herself in with a strong character who overpowered her.

Interesting also that parents aren't always ready to believe their child has done anything wrong until there is undeniable proof. My child was bullied relentlessly and parents nor teachers were willing to take things as serious as they were until one child passed mine an 'incriminating' note in class. Until then I was like Peter Barlow, banging my head against a wall.

I've loved this story, even though at times it's been difficult to watch, it's had so many layers. From young children to older children. Physical, emotional and cyber bullying. Girls as the bullies. The flip side showing a vulnerable Mary and then Steve being teased nastily for trying to do something better by his family and best mate.

Great Corrie!

Anonymous said...

Definitely Lewis and the added noughts.

The.HR.Doctor said...

Mary's wonderful, in her 'eccentric, weird, oddball' sort-of-way. Her lines are second only to Roy's for penmanship.

Peter is weak, in every aspect of character and Gascoigne is not a good actor. Any scenes where he actually pulls it off are heavy weight scenes anyway, where the subject matter dwarfs the delivery. Most of the time he stumbles through his conversations with eight word sentences. His compliment of Tina in the factory earlier ("hey, don't apologise, you were brilliant") shows what a lightweight actor he is. Thanks for that Peter; such depth. Surely, he must have some sway over dialogue content of his own character. His highlight reel is a vignette of Peter imitating James Dean, smoking and propping up his outside wall

If any of the Barlow's are to disappear, I'd rather it be the men. At least Tracy has serious sting in her tail. Other than that, I'm a big Peter fan.

As an aside, why is Michelle all bent out of shape over the audit, they've only owned the place for a month. Surely Stella and her mob should be responsible for that mess.

abbyk said...

re: Mary, all the negatives above, plus attempting to sabotage Roy and Hayley's wedding. Other than with the Alahans, she's rude and ridiculous and completely pointless. She's the one character I like less than Tracy.

abbyk said...

re: Mary, all the negatives above, plus attempting to sabotage Roy and Hayley's wedding. Other than with the Alahans, she's rude and ridiculous and completely pointless. She's the one character I like less than Tracy.

Anonymous said...

When Grace & Faye were waiting to be interviewed by the teacher about their altercation, one of Grace's concerns was that they could be "excluded". What does that term mean in this context? Where I live in Canada a student can be "suspended" for a varying period, depending on the infraction, or "expelled" if the offense is serious enough.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Excluded is expelled in Britspeak. I find the Tina and Peter couplng awkward and they just do not gel. Is Tina still working She seems to be available at a moment's notice to look after Simon. I think the girl who plays Faye is a good actress but we would have more empathty with her if she hadnt constantly been such a little cow beforehand. Why was Sally even there at an important discussion about Tim;s daughter? She is only Tim's friend with benefits.

Humpty Dumpty said...

There's been some excellent writing in the bullying story. Faye and Grace were entirely believable in the school corridor. Faye was interacting with someone outside the family for a change and that's why we saw another aspect to her. We should have seen her months ago in a counselling session with a teacher. We would have understood her better. Brian, for once, was a serious representation of a head teacher rather than a buffoon.

Tvor said...

Sally was there because Sally always thinks she's more important than she is. You're right, she had no business but that never stopped her before. I have enjoyed the bully storyline in that it was well done, you could see how Faye, desperate to belong, got drawn in and you could see her beginning to have doubts but not wanting to lose her only friend. Ironic since she had been the victim of bullying herself but this was more subtle until the incident with Simon.

I loved Mary until they turned her a bit too crazy and menacing but now they've moved her back into the eccentric sphere and she's back where she works best.

Anonymous said...

HR DOC - These guys don't write their own lines you know. The way they deliver their lines has nada to do with their acting abilities-blame the director if anyone. I personally think CG is an excellent actor and will be brilliant in his next role sans Coronation Street and its Groundhog Day mentality.

Newfy Pearl said...

Before I comment on the Simon story...I would like to say shame on the writers. I think they were very short sighted on the Hayley scenes. Anything and everything I have heard or read about chemo tells me it is painful, and tiresome. Shame on them for her to say she had her feet up all day and only the needles hurt a little. Grrrrr! Tina and her support of Simon (who should definitely get another award as he is a fantastic little actor.
Shame big time on Carla - even Michelle was concerned for Simon....Carla was not. She should have been more understanding considering her rape by Frank Foster. Both situations included physically force and humiliation.
Loved Dev's reaction....his kids were punished for their involvement of watching the video (probably sharing it) and taunting Simon.
Great episode...I nearly cried and found myself chiding the Anna and Carla although deep down I knew they could not hear me.
Love this site....thanks for a place to share my thoughts and vent. :-)

Laura said...

No one has mentioned Peter and his tradition of flitting from woman to woman....what is going on with him? He decides he doesn't want Leanne and his soul mate is Carla...he fought for that relationship. Now he decides that Carla is not the one and Tina is???? Makes no sense, how many times will he change his mind? On now to a girl half his age with no chemistry whatsoever. Ridiculous and repetitive. Are we to believe that this is the one "forever" now?
I never liked him with Carla but that one took forever to happen and get used to. Now that's over in a few weeks after he sees Tina get on with his son?

Sam said...

I absolutely hate the way that Carla is being portrayed. All because they need to justify the ghastly Peter and Tina pairing.

Carla has never been maternal -that's a fact but she has always cared about Simon. When his own parents, Peter and Leanne, were busy trying to score points with each other during the custody battle, Carla was the only one who had Simon's best interests at heart. She really tried with Simon even though he rejected her over and over.

Now we're supposed to believe she isn't interested in Simon's ordeal and only cares about her wedding? I feel sorry for the actress!

Rosie L said...

Peter is a serial womaniser, he'll never settle with one love forever, he has an addictive nature and will always be looking for the next conquest. I'm sorry he's leaving I thought we were going to see a repeat of his fathers lifestyle and Carla suffering the consequences of his dalliances.

Anonymous said...

someone on one of the comments said they actually felt sorry for Faye..and I agree, she's Eleven! She needs to get therapy and Grace needs to get put into a room with all the Simon supporters. :D As for Carla and Peter, I never understood why he'd like her at all when it's obvious his son HATES her. He pretends to be this father who'd do Anything for his son, and then makes the boy suffer with someone who has no care to actually bond with him! And Yes Carla doesn't suffer from extreme stupidity..she'd have hired Michelle to deal with the wedding planning. I hate women like this who have to keep having HUGE weddings..get married in the Registry and donate 5 grand to Bullying Support group if You really love him Careslessa! XooX

Anonymous said...

They are getting married in the registry.

People get into relationships, after a marriage breaks down, with a partner that their son/daughter doesn't like or 'hates'. That doesn't make the new girlfriend or boyfriend a bad person, or a wicked step-mother/step-father.

Carla DID try to bond with Simon on multiple occasions and Simon would have none of it. (Are we selectively forgetting that Simon accused Carla of abusing him?) He consistently keeps her at an arm's length, and viewers suddenly wonder why she isn't the one coaxing him? Oh please.

Peter didn't spew an evil word about Nick to Simon when he discovered Leanne and Nick had their affair. But Leanne, Stella, Dierdre couldn't wait to bash Carla in front of Simon. No wonder the child has a skewered view of certain people. I doubt Simon would be close to Nick either if he knew that his new step-dad coaxed his recovering alcoholic father to drink himself into oblivion, whilst he was paralyzed, simply to get into Leanne's knickers. yeah...

While I feel so incredibly gutted for him during the bullying storyline, the character of Simon has always been raised as a grown-up in child's clothing. He tells his grandfather to "shut-up", calls his father a loser, continuously tells people he hates them and is never corrected by the adults in his life. He has been used as an emotional battering ram between his father and Leanne, and is passed from pillar to post quite often. Perhaps this will also change his outlook on how HE treats others.

This whole Carla focusing on the wedding malarkey is just to make Tina appear godlike and garner support for the Peter/Tina's a classic tool of the writer's on this show. Leanne turned positively vile and said some abhorring things to Carla just days after she was raped, and it was all to garner sympathy for Carla's character.

Carla does relate to Simon's bullying. When Peter said to her "when something like this happens it changes everything," She looked him dead in the eye and said "I know." She lived it. She knows, and she did try to comfort Simon in the factory, but she's uncomfortable around him.

And after the way he's been with her, I don't blame her at all for feeling that way.

I think the bullying storyline could have been a great way to mend the fences between Nick, Leanne, Peter and Carla as they all came together to support Simon whilst also juggling their own problems and frustrations (wedding, Nick's injury etc.) Instead it's been used to shoehorn Tina into yet another storyline before she leaves. I find Corrie tends to take these realistic issues that affect 'real' people and instead of exploring it properly, they turn it into a plot device for an affair. (Domestic rape leads to affair, domestic abuse leads to affair, bullying leads to affair.) Just once I'd like to see an issue tackled that DOES NOT result in an affair.

But that's my two cents...

Anonymous said...

Found the scenes with Carla completely unbelievable. She wouldn't care two hoots about carnations at the wedding. When will the Corrie bigwigs learn? PLOT DRIVEN STORYLINES DON'T WORK!>


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